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Torre for Manager of the Year?

Joe Torre should be named Mgr of the Year with how he handled the Kemp benching if the team continues playing as well as they did in the SF series. We faced three good pitchers but hit them well. We pitched well. But most importantly, we played some great defense.

I’ve read so much recently from fans posting about the Kemp benching and saying things like, “Torre’s been sitting him! What an Idiot!” or “hey, Torre, Kemp isn’t going to break out of his slump if you keep benching him.” Do we all really think it’s that easy to win four World Series rings?

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Do we really want our skipper to simply start the players who earned it during Spring Training, or do we want the 9 players on the field to be the 9 who will do what they can to win games? I know what the players want.

Joe’s job is to get the most out of each player, and what makes coaching so challenging is that each player requires a different approach. I know it’s too early to determine, but Joe benching Kemp…giving him some days to stew in it…and waiting until Kemp came to his office to discuss…well, it seems like the right way to resolve it and get the whole team playing hard.

Keep it up Matty! And keep it up Skipper. You’ve got my vote of confidence…except when it comes to GA.


Kemp Finds His Hustle

A baseball player strives to earn the starting position on their team. After much hard work and the hustle required to impress coaches, they earn that position. What happens next will define this player, and the earlier that they learn in their baseball careers not to get too comfortable, the longer they will remain a starter. This applies from Little League and beyond.

Jason O. Watson / U.S. Presswire

I realize that it’s just a quote, but Kemp said something that I found interesting. “I did everything I needed to do to have as good a season as I did last year.” For all of you who, at any point, ever dreamed of making it to the Bigs, wouldn’t you work harder and practice more to improve on a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger season?

It’s easy to answer this question when you know the right answer. As for me, I’m sure I would’ve celebrated by dating as many Hollywood starlets, partied with Paris Hilton, made it on the cover of the tabloids, and done whatever most 25-yr old millionaire professional athletes would do.

Joe Torre handled the benching of Kemp perfectly, and Kemp responded beautifully last night.  I hope this was a defining moment in Kemp’s career, and I hope he earns the trust and love back from the Dodger faithful.

Garret Anderson Must Go

I understood the Garret Anderson addition earlier this year. I don’t remember but I might have even liked it. GA was a great baseball player in Anaheim for many years…a nice veteran presence with post-season experience…additional depth in LF.

Halfway through this season and it’s safe to say that this experiment was a failure. I don’t think GA has hit above .200 all season. I cringe when I see him on deck. Last night, when GA (.190) pinch-hit for Bills (.154), I hope GA realized himself that this might be the time to announce his retirement.

Save yourself some dignity…and open up a roster spot please.

Reed Over Kemp

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

I’m a believer that baseball players should always run hard 90’s. Their uniforms should be filthy at the end of the game. Didn’t you love watching Charlie Hustle play ball? Watching Upton this past weekend jogging in CF and Hanley earlier this season pissed me off. And watching Kemp lackadaisical play this season has definitely been a disappointment.

Torre gets shit from fans because that’s what happens to the manager of any team when they lose…especially in a major market like LA. But Joe often doesn’t get credit for what he does in the clubhouse…or doesn’t say about his players. The way Joe has handled playing Reed over Kemp has been masterful. He didn’t embarrass him but sent a clear message by giving Matt two consecutive days off, the second against a pitcher that he has hit very well.

Will Kemp respond and win fans over. Hopefully he does by All Star break. You know it’s bad when his lack of effort prompts Perez Hilton to blog about it.

In any case, I think it sends the right message to the team and fans. Will this be the defining moment of our season?

Eternally Optimistic

There are so many different types of fans out there in the baseball world. Some go to every game with their scorebook and enjoy logging every pitch, hit, and error in their books. Do these people even get the chance to enjoy a beer & hot dog during the game? Do they get to go to the bathroom??

A gratuitous shot of Dodger fan, Denise Milani

Some fans are eternally optimistic. You’ll hear them say “it’s a long season” or “plenty of game left” or the worst, “there’s always next season.” Some are eternally pessimistic and will despise each player on the roster at one point in the season. What have you done for us lately?!? Sure you hit .330 last season but you’re only hitting .285 this season you bum!!! We should trade you now!!

And of course, there is the eternal bickering between fans over who should stay and who should go.  Manny sucks…no, Manny is a beast.  Trade Blowingsley…no, Bills is the future of the Dodgers.  Probably the only two consistencies amongst all fans is that Ethier cannot, under no circumstance, be traded away…and also that Sherrill, under any circumstance, must be traded away.  It’s pretty entertaining to read the comments on the Los Angeles Dodgers Facebook page and the divergent comments from fans and haters.

There is one thing to appreciate.  Dodger fans are loyal.  In fact, I think the Dodger fans are more loyal than any in the NL West considering it’s been so long since we’ve seen success.  Real success as defined by Major League Baseball…a trip to the World Series.

The Rockies last made it to the World Series in 2007.  The Giants went in 2002.  The D-Backs won it the year before.  And the Padres last went in 1998.

Our last trip to the World Series was in 1988.  In 1988, the Billboard chart was dominated by George Michaels, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson.  I think considering that it’s been so long since we’ve felt the joy of competing in the World Series…any fan, regardless of passion or opinion, should be commended.

My only wish is that our owner felt the same.

Beyond Frustrated

So frustrated with tonight’s loss. Yes Brox blew it but he’s been overall pretty reliable lately. He’s lost a few MPH in velocity…don’t you think? He’s still one of the best closers out there.

Sherrill and Troncoso? They both need to work things out in Albuquerque. I think that Troncoso has to fix that choppy stride of his. He’s hanging all his pitches way too high!! And would any coach out there teach their pitchers to start so closed? Sherrill is so closed he starts completely facing 2nd base!! It’s not working!! At least Belisario looked better this weekend. That’s what happens when you miss Spring Training you idiot!

No disrespect to Kemp, but I like Reed Johnson at CF. The dude is gritty and plays some dirtbag baseball. Plus he’s hitting .306.

Kershaw gets better with each outing. Was Kuo not available tonight? Or Weaver?

I still have faith for this season. Do you think if we could add one top tier pitcher and another for the bullpen we could win the World Series?

What would you think of a rotation of Lee, Kershaw, Kuroda, Bills, Padilla?!? I think we could take any team in a 7-game series.

Knocking in runs with the small ball

Many must cling onto the stereotypical baseball notion of power at the corners, because I’ve heard way too many Dodger fans mention the need to replace Loney with a HR-hitting 1st baseman. I sure hope his 4-RBI game last night to lead the Dodgers over the Yankees will quiet some of his critics. Loney currently leads the team with 51 RBI’s and is living up to his Gold Glove potential with only one error so far this season.

Let’s ask ourselves this question – Why is it that almost every team with a starting pitcher worth trading is insisting on a package including Loney? In my opinion, there is only one 1st baseman in the NL better than Loney and we all know who that is.

My all-time favorite 1st baseman only hit 272 HR’s in his 18 years in the bigs. He was also a career .294 hitter. I’d take another Steve Garvey any day.